Confusing symbols, graphs, pi-charts, equations and statistics are all math subjects that can look like a horrid ordeal to students. Where do you start? Which courses and syllabuses should you choose? How can you manage your time? These are just a few questions we would like to consider.
Math is a subject that you can’t avoid. To teach yourself math alone you need focus, determination, patience, and practice. Studying math alone is an industrious and intellectual experience, to say the least, you need to be determined to continue studying alone.
If the idea of studying math alone doesn’t appeal to you, the helpful strategies below can enhance your study experience and boost your confidence.
Where To Start?
When you begin to study math you should have a clear objective and goal. Self-learning can be challenging without a clear goal you can’t get anywhere. Before you start, pick a math topic you would like to study.
For example, if you are studying Analytics Geometry some elements of trigonometry exist. You can start practicing trigonometry before you begin the chapter on analytics geometry which allows you to get a head-start on the topic.
Picking The Right Books And Courses
When studying math alone it is imperative to pick courses and textbooks with exercises and solutions. Choosing textbooks with examples is a great way to apply math concepts. At some point afterwards you can opt to change textbooks without exercises, solutions or examples. Nonetheless in the beginning you need feedback to learn from your mistakes and move forward.
The books you choose should complement the books you use in class. If you are looking for self-studying textbooks choose ones with lots of exposition and examples. In school, classes provide lots of exposition which complements missing parts of the course outline. When studying alone exposition has a huge impact on your comprehension.
It is also advisable to pick a hard copy math textbook as opposed to a digital one. Very few math textbooks are converted to digital. Once you have a hard copy it’s easier to take notes and place markers on topics you want to revise.
Applying Math Concepts
Math is a concept-based subject, you need to understand it to proceed. Unlike other subjects, memorizing math will not get you anywhere. The concept of memorization is impacted by understanding, you can’t memorize something without understanding it.
Similarly, it is confusing to understand something without practicing it first. Without practice you cannot get results. When you apply concept-based learning it is important to have a firm understanding of every key mathematical concept that supports a math topic before you proceed to the next one.
Time Management Skills
The adage that practice makes perfect applies to studying math alone. The more you practice math the better your math skills will be fixed in mind. Managing your time is imperative, set aside time for each chapter you want to go over.
Go through each example, cover it and try solving it on your own. Don’t just let things pass by when you are learning, practice as much as possible to get better at math. Learning happens when you recall information from your mind, not from cramming concepts. When you are revising a math topic, go over the formulas you used in class, try spotlighting concepts on flashcards. For example, you might write down a formula or a math equation on one side and then an answer on the other and match them.
Sometimes textbooks place the solution to a problem or exercise at the back. If that’s the case look up the answer only after you finish completing the problem. If you get a different answer, work through the problem to see where you made a mistake and fix it.
Treat each practice session as a real test. Before you take a math test practice ahead of time. Recreate a quiet environment that simulates an exam room without interruptions. Once you complete a mock test alone, check and validate your answers, if there are any discrepancies work on them. It also helps to write down formulas and examples to revise them. Spend a few minutes copying down a formula or example several times until you remember it.
Repetition plays an important role in reinforcing mathematical concepts. Simply repeating them to yourself over and over or hearing, seeing and writing them may make them easier to recall. You can also use illustrations or mnemonics to remember math concepts.
Resources For Studying Math
To learn mathematical concepts and apply them you need to get a first pass explanation of the math topic you are studying. A self-learning/teaching technique requires utilizing a variety of tools including online resources. With the abundance of online information, lectures, syllabuses and eBooks you can easily study math alone as if you are in school. The best part of it is that you can do it at your own pace without a strict schedule, all you need is self-commitment.
The array of online math resources covering huge portions of math topics include the KhanAcademy which provides a personalized learning experience for students to practice at their own pace. The academy’s library covers math and science with custom-made lessons created by educational experts.
Another helpful resource is BetterExplained. It has a wide range of articles providing intuitive knowledge on calculus, algebra, exponentials and more. Most lessons offer low level detail in linear and logical sequence to improve your comprehension. You can also watch interesting YouTube videos on channels like 3Blue1Brown which explores in-depth educational mathematical concepts giving you a hands-on experience.
If you watch an explanation or a topic without understanding it you can go through it again. If you feel that you are going too fast, revise the lesson once more. A helpful study pattern is to watch an explanation and try it alone first. If you watch an explanation without practice, that’s like watching a video on learning to play guitar without even owning one. Eventually the explanations will not make sense and you will lack experience.
How OMC Can Help?
Mathematics can be confusing, tricky and difficult but that shouldn’t deter you from studying alone. Self-study can do wonders to enhance mathematical comprehension and performance. The information discussed above lets you know how easily and effectively this can be achieved.
The Online Math Center tutors can guide you on the path of self-study to adopt a proper pattern and serious approach with custom-made lesson plans.
If you want to take your mathematical knowledge to new heights contact one of our tutors to learn more!